J.B. Pritzker has offered a simple response when Democratic and Republican rivals attack his family’s use of offshore banking to avoid taxes on its immense fortune: The trusts were set up in the 1960s by his grandfather, and the money goes to his charitable foundation.
“Any trusts for my benefit that are offshore, I have received no distributions from, and those trusts are only providing charitable contributions,” the billionaire Hyatt Hotels heir told reporters in December. “That’s all that they do.”
Those family trusts don’t tell the full story of Pritzker’s interests in the shadowy world of offshore finance, however.
A Chicago Tribune investigation found several offshore shell companies created between 2008 and 2011 — long after Abram “A. N.” Pritzker’s 1986 death — that are either wholly owned by J.B. Pritzker, his brother and business partner Anthony Pritzker, or list other close associates as controlling executives.